Salem is very special to me. It is a place where I find what I am looking for.
There is definitely a special energy there. It’s a different vibe than Sedona and probably has more to do to the people that are drawn there then the energy of the land, which is where Sedona’s special energy is based.
History of Salem, Massachusetts:
Salem is well known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Several witches were cruelly hanged during the hysterical witch hunts in the Americas. Today, Salem has a large witch population – those that practice the Wiccan religion. I think like minded people like to gather here because of like minded people, and that it is a way of honoring those that were sent to trial and to their death unfairly.
Visiting Salem, Massachusetts:
It’s awesome to go to Salem in October. It is a festive town all year round but especially in October.
If you’re looking for a haunted house or the typical Halloween spooky/scary stuff, I guess you can go to Salem to find it, but that’s kind of cheesy to me and a bit of a waste of time and energy because you can find spooky/scary anywhere in October.
The difference with Salem is that it is the real deal. Why not honor the celebration of Samhain and respect the religious culture of this town? It is a different way to experience and understand Halloween, and it is a great trip to make for those who simply like the travel and tourism side of it.
Samhain Vs. Halloween:
Samhain is the Wiccan new year, and is considered the time when the veil between the living and the dead is lifted so that better communication can occur with those on the other side.
It is a great time to honor loved ones that have crossed over, very similar to Day of the Dead in Mexico. I do this honoring of my ancestors on my own with a silent supper. But going to Salem is a great way to enjoy the celebration of the holiday and honor ancestors because they have a public Silent Supper which, though I have not attended it in the past, I bet is quite a powerful experience (and a great meal!)
This year (2013), Silent Supper/Dumb Supper in Salem is October 27th, 2013. Again, I’ve never participated in this one, but it will probably be awesome and a beautiful way to honor loved ones: http://www.festivalofthedead.com/dumbsupper.html
Side note: The honoring of the dead is about love, not fear. It bums me out that they make it all spooky scary, but that sells tickets and is what most people associate with this time of year. Wiccans honor the earth, which is about abundance and love, not fear.
A lot of the links I have listed below imply the spooky/scary elements that are associated with Halloween. While I understand why that is done, I feel that it misses the opportunity to show people that this could be a completely new, unusual and more fulfilling way of experiencing this time of year.
FYI: The Witches Ball is on October 25th and this is one of the biggest events of the season.
Finally, Salem is a good place to go year round. Sure, Halloween/Samhain is probably the high point of the year, but don’t forget that the main focus of the people that live in this town are the seasonal changes of the earth, which are celebrated year round and give Salem a different and wonderful flavor all its own no matter what part of the year you chose to visit.
http://www.festivalofthedead.com/witchesball/ October 25, 2013
Wiki about Samhain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain